Community Shares of Wisconsin marks its fiftieth anniversary in 2021 and is recognizing longtime volunteers with Anniversary Backyard Heroes Awards.

Denise Matyka & Nicole Gotthelf

Denise Matyka and Nicole Gotthelf are being celebrated as 50th Anniversary Backyard Heroes in recognition of their vision to merge Madison Sustaining Fund and Aid to Wisconsin Organizations into Community Shares of Wisconsin in 1988.


Denise Matyka, who served as co-executive director of Community Shares of Wisconsin during the merger, continued to serve on the board of Community Shares for many years after moving on to her still current role as the executive director of Project Home, one of CSW’s member groups. Denise has continued her leadership as a board member and member of the Personnel Committee and provided mentorship and advice to CSW staff during her entire tenure.


Nicole Gotthelf, former co-executive director of Community Shares of Wisconsin shared her leadership not only with CSW member nonprofits but with the larger Madison community, serving 8 years on the Madison Common Council before relocating to Chicago. She brings over thirty years of nonprofit leadership experience in organizations furthering the missions of social change and economic justice, international development, and arts and culture.




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